Returning from 300 years of extinction, Dodo Street have recorded a trailblazing, joyously wild musical odyssey, encompassing melodies from the shores of the Hebrides to the mountains of Eastern-Europe.
Their history-defying existence brings extreme velocity and inhuman precision from Adam Summerhayes (‘astonishing, all-out virtuosity’ New York Times) and Piers Adams (‘superhuman’ Washington Post) and the rest of the band is equally virtuosic. Master accordionist Murray Grainger and one of Europe’s most renowned bass players, Malcolm Creese, provide the powerful core of the band as well as dynamic solos. The livewire Cormac Byrne, king of Irish percussion and BBC Folk Award-winning bodhran player, can easily steal the show.
But it is the music that is really remarkable. There is nothing predictable about their tunes. On Natural Selection, a famous Irish melody might take a wild Klezmer twist, an ancient Scottish wedding song is recast in a mesmeric soundscape that evokes the lonely island from which it came, gypsy tunes and Eastern European rhythms spiral faster and faster, impossible not to dance to.
Instrumental limits are pushed to the extreme, but the band never lose control or tightness and the music is, above all, driven by potent melodies, whether centuries old or newly penned.
“This bunch of dodos is alive and doing fine. Do not be distracted by their hats their madness is medicated with jaw-dropping instrumental skills. Adam Summerhayes (violin and composition), Malcolm Creese (bass), Murray Grainger (accordion), Cormac Byrne (bodhran and percussion) and Piers Adams (recorder) have been round the musical block more times than they care to admit. But it is this experience and unsurpassed individual virtuosity that makes Natural Selection nothing short of phenomenal. From the delicate pianissimos of St Kilda through the wondrous melancholy of Dodos and Neil Gow s Laments to the soaring scapes of Larking, Flight of the Dodo or Cock at Sunrise, the musical precision and discipline are breathtaking as themes are moved masterfully between instruments. Klezmer, tango, Gypsy and Celtic echoes linger almost imperceptibly in these ear-worms. Hats off to the Dodo s collective genius.” –MorningStar
“Dodo Street consists of five musicians. It would be a much longer piece to describe the background of the musicians in any way other than to quote from their publicity material. The band combine unbelievable fiddle virtuosity from international star Adam Summerhayes; outrageous brilliance from world number one recorder genius, Piers Adams; incredibly high-ABV insanity from accordion master, Murray Grainger; positively feverish power from bass legend, Malcolm Creese; and dazzling bodhran playing from king of folk percussion, Cormac Byrne . Any one of the five has a musical pedigree that you can only admire, collectively they work superbly together and it makes for a stunning sound (which they call Celtic Gypsy Klezmer) melding Scottish/Irish folk, gypsy and Eastern European tunes and rhythms. The other aspect to mention is the humour. The album tracks are titled in some way to give a link to the dodo. To give a couple of examples: Flight Of The Dodo is described as Commemorating the invention of a mechanical flying machine by dodos in 1803 (and the subsequent suppression of the fact by humans) ; and Track 8 is called Historic 1632 recording of Dodo calls (Courtesy of the descendants of Midshipman Alex Whammond). The publicity material is unusually self-deprecating and, of many gems, my favourite is the description of Cormac Byrnes bodhran playing as complex morse-code-based rhythm patterns which he broadcasts from his bedroom to try and contact the intergalactic Space Dodos. You can only be this irreverent about your playing if you are very good or if you are sufficiently novice that you’re unaware of it. Dodo Street are definitely not a band of novices.” –Folking.com